Report by OD bureau; Bhubaneswar: In a recently held seminar by the Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers on the “Prospects of Alumina and Aluminium Industry in Odisha” many eminent Scientists, Academicians, Engineers and Industry Houses interacted on the importance of Bauxite, Alumina & Aluminium for the development of Odisha.
Speaking on the occasion Dr. Mukesh Kumar, President & COO - Vedanta Aluminium Ltd., pointed out that Odisha is blessed with High Quality Aluminium Reserves and based on the present analysis nearly 60% of India’s reserves are available in Odisha. However, this wealth of natural resources could not be translated into economic prosperity for the state. The availability of such vast natural resources could have been used for turning the Mineral and Metal potential of Odisha and eradicating the Poverty but unfortunately the State is still reeling under the crunch of chronic poverty without realizing the benefits of these natural resources. It has been projected that the Aluminium Demand in the country may touch around 5 million ton by 2015 and 10 million ton by 2020 which can generate employment to nearly 7 million people in the country in 2020. Besides employment generation, the Industry can contribute nearly Rs. 33000 crore annually to exchequer. If immediate measures are not taken to boost Aluminium Production domestically, the targets of electrifying all the villages also will be difficult to achieve in absence of electricity distribution network which is the main consumer Aluminium in the country.
India and particularly Odisha who is the main depository of the Aluminium Reserves in the country could not take the advantage of its mineral wealth and accordingly not even a single Alumina Refinery and Smelter could have been put up in the State even after 25 years of commissioning of NALCO project. The Vedanta Integrated Aluminum Complex set up in Odisha also is forced to run at lower capacity and no Bauxite from the State could be made available to the Project.
Also present on the occasion was Padmashree PK Jena and Academician Prof. Omkar Nath Mohanty. They said that Odisha’s rich mineral resources need to be utilized effectively & efficiently for inclusive growth & development. The industry as well as scientists and experts appealed to the policymakers that time has come when one must start using mineral wealth of Odisha in eradication of the Poverty and bringing the State as a leader in the GDP contribution of the Nation.
During the seminar Former Chairman of IPICOL Mr. H. P. Mishra mentioned that it’s high time that companies should shift from basic metal production to alloy production, which would benefit the downstream industries in adding value to Aluminium.
The Aluminium Industry can provide opportunities for other ancillary units like caustic soda Plant based on Salt, Lime Kiln Plant, casting and extrusion facilities for automobile components, Aluminium Alloys manufacturing facilities for space and defence. Conductor making facilities, coal tar pitch Plants, construction materials like bricks, stone aggregates etc using waste, ferro-titanium and Vanadium Plants using Alumina Refinery waste etc. The seminar also saw presentation from NALCO & SPCB on energy efficiency and cleaner environmental practices.